After clinging for six dizzy years to the top of the European Christmas tree league, Athens is to retire from competition this year, Mayor Dora Bakoyianni said yesterday. Bakoyianni told a press conference on the municipality’s plans for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations that this year’s «all-green, natural-looking» Christmas tree in central Syntagma Square will be 13.5 meters high – over three times shorter than the metal structure bedecked with colored lights first put up by her predecessor, Dimitris Avramopoulos, in 1997. Avramopoulos had billed the pole, which reached a grand total of 45 meters, as the biggest in Europe. It has reportedly been given away to the town of Argos. Bakoyianni promised a string of events from December 12 to January 7, including a confectionary display, fireworks and a New Year’s Eve concert in Syntagma Square.